CHEC still favoured by Mac

| 08/06/2012

imgres_1.jpg(CNS): The premier’s office has said it has no problem doing business with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and will be continuing negotiations regarding cruise berthing facilities in George Town. The statement comes in the wake of revelations that the firm was sanctioned by the World Bank because of issues relating to corruption. The premier said he does not believe CHEC has any connection to the circumstances that led to the sanctions and no reason to discontinue the dealings with the Beijing firm. The statement came in the wake of other regional news reports that a former port chairman in China was sentenced to death for taking bribes from CHEC and its parent company, CCCC..

Mounting media coverage here in the Cayman Islands and other countries in the Caribbean where CHEC is doing business, not least in Jamaica, is causing growing concerns about the Chinese firm as a suitable business partner for public sector developments. The Cayman Islands governor has also made it plain that the UK will not sanction the proposed port deal with CHEC at present, not because it objects particularly to the firm itself but because of the failure of the premier to follow international best procurement practice when selecting the company.

Nevertheless, speaking through his office Friday afternoon, McKeeva Bush made it clear that he was pressing on with the port talks with CHEC, despite public opinion and the UK’s position.

“It is evident that CHEC is far removed from any wrongdoing that resulted in the original sanctions placed on CRBC by the World Bank,” the statement read. “The far reaching effect of the World Bank debarment of CRBC only relates to CHEC because it is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, which inherited the debarment from its predecessor. Neither CHEC nor its parent company CCCC has been sanctioned by the World Bank for fraud or any other misconduct actually committed by those companies.

“In view of these findings, CIG does not see causeto believe that CHEC is legally or morally responsible for the actions which led to the original debarment of China Road and Bridge Corporation by the World Bank. There is therefore no indication that valid grounds exist for discontinuing our dealings with CHEC,” the premier said in the statement

The premier’s office pointed to the “many years of discussing and negotiating” over the port project and reiterated that the government still believes that CHEC offers the best value for money to the Cayman Islands.

“Namely because CHEC is the only company to offer the Islands terms that would enable us to attain realistic value for the leveraging of our assets,” it said. “The Cayman Islands Government remains vigilant and will only conduct business with companies that can pass the closest scrutiny. CIG has conducted and will continue to conduct appropriate due diligence before any binding final agreements are signed.”

The latest scandal relating to CHEC arose earlier this week after the Jamaican Contractor-General raised his concerns about that country doing business with CHEC while it remained under a World Bank ban. The ban on any projects involving World Bank funding was imposed on China Communications Construction Company and all its subsidiaries, including CHEC, because CCCC was the designated successor to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which was accused of corruption. Under the bank's rules successors on projects where wrongdoing has been found continue to carry the can and are therefore subject to the same sanctions.

The World Bank states: “This action is based on recent changes in the World Bank sanctions system to clarify that successor organizations – through purchase or reorganization – will be subject to the same sanctions applied to the original firm.” As CCCC is the designated successor entity to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) the bank confirmed the ban remains in place.

In a release this week from its regional office, Zhongdong Tang, Regional Director for CHEC in Latin America, said the firm was not involved in and has never been involved in any activity that has attracted any sanctions by the World Bank. “CHEC itself has never been under any investigation by the World Bank,” it said.

The accusations of fraud were made against CRBC, which maintained that there was no factual or legal merit to the allegations. Tang said CCCC initiated discussions with the World Bank to arrive at a resolution of the issue. “At the time of the debarment in January 2009, the sanction was imposed on CRBC and not on CCCC or any other subsidiary of the company,” he added but acknowledged that the sanctions came about in July 2011, based on banks new position that successor organisations would be subject to the same sanctions to the original firms.

“CHEC operates successfully worldwide in accordance with the laws and regulations of countries and maintains the highest ethical standards of integrity and corporate governance,” Tang stated. “As recognised by the World Bank itself, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has passed several laws which hold companies organised under Chinese law such as CCCC and CHEC, to the highest anti-corruption standards. CHEC’s overseas operations continue to abide by these very high standards.”

According to other media reports, the former Chairman of China’s Hebei Port Group, Huang Jianhua, was sentenced to death earlier this year for taking bribes from CHEC and CCCC. Chinese authorities say Huang was given a house worth more than US$628,000 after he arranged for them to win a bid in 2008 for the construction project at the Huanghua Port Wharf in China.

Executives of CHEC and other sister companies allegedly also gave Huang US$10,000 in three payments. Investigators were said to have found "a trail of corruption by CCCC” and at least twoof its subsidiaries, including CHEC.

Meanwhile, in another international case relating to the Chinese firm, Arafat ‘Koko’ Rahman, a son of the former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia, was jailed last year for laundering millions of dollars in bribes taken from CHEC.

See full statements from the premier’s office and from CHEC below.

Category: Local News

Comments (65)

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  1. Neo-Survivor says:

    Once again, this is a no-brainer.  

    The CHEC deal is a bad deal for the Cayman Islands on so many levels.   Here were are, once again, protesting the obvious.  

     

    If the CHEC deal goes through, the Cayman Islands will lose money, yes, but loose far more than that.

     

    We will loose a precious soverign right to operate downtown.   We will gain an invader who has made a practice of gaining a toehold and expanding upon it, until local Caymanian businesses are pushed out.  

     

    We will loose the jobs that would normally go with such an extensive enterprise.   We will loose the ancillary benefits (housing, goods) that would normally accompany such an enterprise, and…

     

    We will loose our tendering fees, which this depressed government depends upon. 

     

    What will we gain?   ???   ???   A two-finger dock which we don't control and will not own for 50 years.    Hey, I will be long dead by the time that date passes, so you might say, what do I care?   I care.    I want the best for our nation and our children's future.  

     

    The most pressing problem is that the people have no legal avenue for affecting change.   The UK has spoken, but the Premier doesn't listen.    We read these columns and they are about more than partisan politics.    What resonates clearly to me is that this proposal is not favored by the majority of the Caymanian citizens — we, who will ultimately pay the bills.   All we can legally do is talk, and protest, and the sad thing is that if every. single. person. here put on paper that they were against the CHEC deal, it wouldn't change a thing. 

     

    Ask yourself this:   Why would a man choose to shoot himself and his country in the foot?   There is but one answer:   XXXXXX

     

    This is the tipping point of our future.   If CHEC is allowed to go forward, that will nail the lid shut on us.    

     

    I miss my country.   God bless you and keep you safe.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva talks as if he is intimately involved in the day to day management of CHEC: how else can he be so sure CHEC is "far removed" from the issues that led to sanctions?

    Perhaps he can explain how the group of companies is structured, and outline whether CHEC as a subsidiary in the group is run by the same directors and officers —

    why would he put his own credibility (haha) on the line for a company that he does not own or is not even involved in?? I gues relying on all that business acumen, qualification and experience he has (0+0 = 0)

    zzzzzz

    come ON, Cayman — are these really your best qualified candidates for elected office?

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    Even to me is embarrassed by this – and you see what my name is…

    • Anonymous says:

      At least now you know there's someone around who's not as smart as you are. Perhaps you should run for election.

  4. Tired of Complaints says:

    Mr. Premier please ignor the garble and get on with the dock. The country needs this project. Right away without further delay.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "CIG has conducted and will continue to conduct appropriate due diligence before any binding final agreements are signed.”

    Who does Mac think he is fooling? There has been NO due diligence done here. That is what the CTC is for!

    • Chris Johnson says:

      If CHEC is to do work on the Cayman Islands will it not require a Trades and Business licence? If so I would expect that board to do a due diligence on them and turn the licence down. The Chinese will also require a Local Companies Control Law Licence. I cannot recall seeing any advertising about this. On any tendering process does not an applicant not need show that he has the proper licenses? Maybe there are some special laws out there that I am unaware of. Perhaps the Auditor General can take a look at all of this.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is my observation and assessment of China in the 21st century that they are pursuing a form of economic imperialism evolved from the imperialism to which they suffered from beginning with the English feeding opium to the Chinese from Hong Kong during the period of the Opium Wars to the early 20th century with the Boxer Rebellion.

    It makes sense to me that they would evolve a foreign relations policy based upon what has been done to them in the past. Western powers have not been kind to the Chinese and if the English consider the Chinese their friends then they are deluded.

    This policy is most obvious in Africa but is being carried out throughout the world. As a child we are meant to learn that you never get something for nothing.

    • Anon says:

      So you condone the Chinese screwing countries like Jamaica?

      While I acceptyour argument surely that doesn't justify what is going on? 

       

      • Anonymous says:

        I didn't offer a judgment to their foreign policy I was just relating my understanding of the history that may explain it. It isn't my decision or vote.

      • Peanuts says:

        Anon the Chinese just took over the sugar industry in Jamaica and got a TWENTY YEAR TAX HOLIDAY. With friends like them one has no need for enemies.

    • Nick Robson says:

      China is also looking for friends in the UN. These can be bought with financial help, cheap loans etc.

  7. Anonymous says:

    bu dao huanghe xin bu si…ren zha…

    • Neo-Survivor says:

      Please provide us with a translation.     If the translation won't pass the censors, you shouldn't be saying it.  

       

      CNS: The censors checked it out. Google translate gives us: "Refuse to give up until all hope is gone scum …" Not surewhat they were aiming for but I kind of like it. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    World Bank was smart, if you ask me.   In general, some companies who get caught up in legal wrongdoing and realize their reputation will be shot to pieces once it becomes public knowledge, might try to pull tricks to fool the local and international business communities, like selling out themselves to a new corporate entity, or reorganizing themselves under a new organization or parent company, and changing the name under which they operate.  They might do this in the hopes that their dubious past will be forgotten and they will not be sanctioned or others stop doing business with them.  They might hope all will be forgiven simply because they have been reorganized under a new operation.  Such companies bring to mind Jesus' famous words to the Pharisees of his time " you are like white washed graves" meaning, cleaning looking on the outside but …. on the inside (you fill in the blanks with your imagination).  Another Bible verse, Luke 6:43:  "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit."  With regards specifically to CHEC, even if it was not specifically involved in the wrongdoings that directly caused the sanctions by World Bank, it certainly has been involved in others, as reported in the press.  One only has to google to see CHEC being implicated in the bribery scandal of the Bangladesh former Prime Minister son who was jailed as a result, and their involvement with the Chinese port official who was sentenced to death earlier this year for taking bribes from CHEC and CCCC, as just reported in the press.   Perhaps the World Bank is fully aware of these other situations and this only reinforces that they made a wise move.

  9. Anonymous says:

    May 2013 can’t come fast enough! We also need to put the Dump Re-location back on the table for the proper tendering process to happen instead of one person dictating how it’s going to be.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully this will be an issue for the Governor.

    • A Guilty Pleasure says:

      Damn, this man is leading us down the wrong path. We need him to step down now for the good of the country XXXX. But he will never step down or step aside because he knows that as soon as he steps aside all the investigations against him will EXPLODE!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Of course Mac would favour them……..you know what they say about birds of a feather. Mac perhaps you werent listening but Bellingham said no deal until you comply with the law on tendering. There is a place for people who refuse to comply with the law…….Its called COURT !!!……….Call the Chuckster helpline 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dont worry, the CHEC proposal is hopeless. It will not happen. The government cannot live without the passenger fees. They would be unable to make payroll.  End of story.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Makes total sense.  If your a XXXXX politician with a history of failures and a 5th grade edumacation wouldn't you vote for CHEC?  Bush is not the problem he is just being himself.  The problem is those who gave him the job in the first place.  If he was mowing my yard I wouldn't pay him till he was done.

  14. Anonymous says:

    and still it goes on

  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope everyone wasn't expecting our beloved one and only to come out and say yes I was making 'deals' with a corrupt organization.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Remember the psa that used to say "Alcohol and gasoline is a BAD COMBINATION"?

    Well, there should be one that says "Ignorance and arrogance is a TERRIBLE COMBINATION"!

  17. Bueller says:

    Wow. What a specatularly ill-advised statement.

  18. Anonymous too says:

    …and their hands are clean and their hearts are pure…how do you say “magical world of Disney” agAin in Chinese?

  19. Anonymous says:

    China? On the level? Are you serious? Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Folks, I have come to realize a good deal from a bad deal.  Remember the Turtle Farm deal?  Remember the Cohen deal?  The GLF deal? The West Bay Road deal? The Dump deal? The Solar Energy deal? The West Bay Road deal? The island in the North Sound deal?  The Oil Refinery deal? And long before these was the First Cayman Bank deal.  Well, the difference lie in which one this government supports.  Can you name one good deal?

  21. Danonymouse Man says:

    Mac you and you old style of managment are out of date. We need honest transparent representation! Please resign and move to Panama or some place close to a casino and relax!

  22. SKEPTICAL says:

    Bush has an amazing capacity for compartmentalizing different aspects of a single issue, thus enabling him to make a categoric public statement on one of them, which effectively is quite true and I quote – ” It is evident that CHEC is far removed from any wrongdoing that resulted in the original sanctions placed on CRBC by the World Bank “. Probably hard to refute as a stand alone comment.
    Very conveniently however, by his failure to comment, he totally ignores the fact that whatever one might think of the Chinese judicial system, it has sentenced to death a senior port official which it is satisfied has broken the law by accepting bribes from CHEC, and it’s parent companyCCCC – and let’s not forget CHEC’s involvement in the bribery and corruption scandal in Bangladesh.
    Can he therefore honestly say, to paraphrase his own words, that CHEC as a whole – ” has clean hands and a pure heart ” ??
    At the end of the day, does Cayman want to be doing business with a company which, it is publicly acknowledged, has been involved in to major bribery scandals.
    Whatever, his most recent comment is utterly irrelevant, because he personally can no longer complete any agreement with CHEC without the prior approval of the FCO/UK – so his press release is just so much hot air – ” plus ca change “.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I like the way the Chinese deal with corruption. I wonder if some of our corrupt could be persuaded to take another bit of luxury travel to China whether they would do us a favour.

    • BORN FREE says:

      STUBBORN! I see some very revealing times concerning the deals with CHEC in the future, I can't see him getting out of it. The UK has told him that it has to go through the right process (CTC), so why is he still insisting that it will be the chinese that will get the contract? He is going against his colleague & the wishes of the original P.A. Board, & he is fighting against the advice (or directions) of the FCO & the Governor, WHY? There is more to this deal with CHEC than we can see.

  24. sumbodi hep-mi says:

     [CHEC]  IS THE ONLY COMPANY to offer the Islands terms THAT WOULD ENABLE US  to attain REALISTIC VALUE for the LEVERAGING of OUR ASSETS,” Please Mr. Premier WE NEED ASSETS WITH WHICH TO USE LEVERAGE we have none! Again please tell you speech writer to learn the correct meaning and the proper context in which to use some of these words:  "LEVERAGE" in this case should be  used FIGURATIVELY meaning:

    THE POWER TO INFLUENCE A PERSON OR SITUATION  TO ACHIEVE A  PARTICULAR OUTCOME: as in The UDP has lost much of it's political "leverage" in  the Assembly.

     

    “The Cayman Islands Government REMAINS VIGILANT  and will only conduct business with companies that can pass the "CLOSEST SCRUTINY". CIG has conducted and will continue to conduct appropriate due diligence before any binding final agreements are signed.”

    "If you are laughing hysterically by now, I will understand''. This man has to have the BIGGEST PAIR  of  Brass B—S  in the world. But they are not in the bag. They are rolling around in that void just above the neck!

    "I am telling you folks you must attend the next "RUN DOWN" it will be the biggest and the best!

    Take note!Mr. Mutoo

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but the unorthodox grammer, sentence structure, and use of major case letters has led me astray. I just can't understand what you're trying to say.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe that's because there is something different about grammer and grammar.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would have thought that would be right up your street with your misspelling of “grammar” and lack of subject verb agreement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Somebody hep me, after reading your posting I am rolling around with laughter! SPOT ON, thank you for a good start to my day!!!! Pity the subject matter is almost tragic though. Talk about someone being in denial! The facts are there for all to see and Mac STILL insists on his own deluded ideas and opinions.

  25. Anonymous says:

    And it looks like enough Caymanian voters still belive him.  WOW!  Or are they just afraid of losing their gas card?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Bush and Mr. Solomon.

    Please hear me. The Chinese machine is massive, like a Juggernaut. Even CNS are intimidated which is why they won't publish this.

    If they bend and do publish, let me say that you are facing a force that you cannot tackle on your own.

    Please, please call on the Almighty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Evidently CNS is built of sterner stuff than you imagine, sir. Hat's off to CNS for publishing your warning.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm listening…..

      What exactly is YOUR problem? I got $4M from the UDP for some unnecessary refurbishments to my eartly villas, so if you can better that, then we can talk. Until then, no miracles for you my child!!.

  27. Kadafe says:

    Well of course he still favors them!! XXXX I bet he defends this to the death! A bit of reverse physcology could be used here like used with children the more we ( the people) dont like it the more he will do it! So if we pretend to like it then maybe maybe he will quit and find something else to get the attention he craves! Those who know personalities gimmie a thumbs up!!

    • Bling man says:

      That na the reason.  He stay with them cause he knows they heart is pure and they hands be clean and they give him good deal.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like another Cohen thing if you ask me! And we all know how that went.  Sorry Mac, your credibility long gone.  Very few trust your judgment now for sure.

  29. Libertarian says:

    On this move, the Premier better be right in his judgement, because although this project MUST go forward and the UK's FCO MUST not interfere, we do not need a company that will swindle or con us along the way to economic recovery.

    As we all know, this project is a very important project. Many businesses are relying on cruise lines coming here, and as a result may close down or downsize because the project is taking too long.

    Those who truly love the people of Cayman should all be on board with getting this project down ASAP.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm on-board with the original arrangements.  I will never be on-board with CHEC, nor, I believe, would anyone with any sense…. but then again we haven't seen much of that (sense) from our Premier.

    • Dred says:

      CHEC is DEAD IN THE WATER…..

      CHEC will never pass the sniff test. It will never make it across the full haul that a proper project must go over.

    • Let's get this straight says:

      Wake up.  Yes, we need cruise ship passengers.  No, we don't need a shopping mall on a port.  What we need is a simple PIER for the passengers to disembark, period.

      For the past decade our politicians (both parties) have been hemming and hawing abut this port trying to figure out how to line their pockets and favor to friends…. it is time to STOP and JUST POUR some gosh darn CEMENT on a looooong pier (that water can flow under as to not disrupt the reefs and natural water flow) and let the senior citizens in their motorized wheelchairs get off the ships on a simple dock instead of a tender.

      We have ALL forgotten the purpose and the reason is so that cruise ship passengers no longer have the bumpy tender rides.  It could not be simpler.  

      My second grader has figured this out, can we please have a politician now get smart too?  Walk away from the greed and buid a simple pier.  

  30. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva purports to have conducted more due dilligence than the carreer risk assessors (you know, the PhD's and MBAs) at the World Bank?  Well, with the tens of millions we've doled out in settlements to extract ourselves from his previous ego-driven pursuits, I'd say his record for due dilligence and business savvy speaks for itself. 

  31. Anonymous says:

    whatever mac….just like the cohen deal…just like the glf settlement…just like….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  32. Anonymous also says:

    Mac, Your are an embarrassment to the Cayman Islands.  Please save a little face for our people and step aside.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new on his part.

     

  34. Anon says:

    One word – 靠